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Oyster Farmer

2006-12-31 11:05

Jack Flange (Alex O'Loughlin) takes up residence with a Hawkesbury River oyster farmer to be closer to his ill sister. During an oyster delivery Flange robs the fish market and mails the money to his new home only to have the parcel disappear. He suspects the charismatic Pearl, a local beauty with a fetish for expensive shoes, of stealing the money. While secretly investigating Pearl he finds himself hopelessly attracted to her.


Anna Reeves’ debut feature film started out with a holiday in Hawkesbury River, situated about an hour out of Sydney. Reeves’ fell in love with the remote area, eccentric characters and close community of oyster farmers who lives on the riverbanks. She describes Oyster Farmer as her love letter to Australia.

The audience is introduced to the brutish community of Hawkesbury along with Jack, and both discover there is more to life on the river than drunks and farmers. Oyster Farmer explores love and relationships Aussie style - simple, crass and very funny.

The plot is ingenuous and the dialogue uncluttered keeping true to the simple characters. The grit of life on the river and the eccentricities of its occupants provide unending laughter without being obnoxious. The main theme is relationships, exploring the often-humorous way in which these rugged laymen deal with intricacies of family and partner relations.

The full-throated Australian woman is unmistakable in Pearl, strong, self-assured and a tad rough around the edges. Pearl tries unsuccessfully to project sophistication by maxing out her credit card on over-priced mail order shoes completely inappropriate to the coarse landscape. Jack and Pearl’s chemistry embodies a raw, titillating and authentic romantic feel on screen.

Keep an eye on Alex O'Loughlin who plays Jack; he is a remarkably good actor. He was one of the chosen few invited to audition for the role of James Bond, which went to Daniel Craig. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eye.

Oyster Farmer highlights life’s little joys and portrays ordinary folks in an endearing and refreshing way while steering away from the cheese-factor synonymous with romantic comedies. This is an all-round good movie that if nothing else, will leave you feeling happy and contented for at least a day. After all, everyone appreciates a love letter now and again.

- Ashlin Simpson
An authentic romantic comedy set in Australia


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